Today I headed out to Black Rock Sanctuary, one of my favorite winter-time operating locations. My primary objective was to make some contacts in the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (WES). I was also curious to see if I could hear any ARRL 10M Contest stations.
When I arrived, there was a thick fog blanketing the park; I could feel the moisture hanging in the air. I went with my usual set up, my KX3 and 19-foot vertical, and was on the air in a few minutes.
I found lots of SKCC activity on the bands. 40M was wall-to-wall, and there was a fair amount of stations on 20M, as well. I ended up with 18 SKCC stations in my log, including F6HKA. Bert is always good at hearing QRP stations. I also worked a station using KS1KCC, the SKCC club callsign.
When I tuned around 10M, I didn’t hear much. I hadn’t used the 19-vertical on 10M before, and I found that the KX3’s internal tuner could only get the SWR down to 2:1. I suspect that the antenna is not super efficient on that band. Nonetheless, I did work a couple of local stations operating in the contest.
I made a few more SKCC contacts and worked a POTA station in Kansas before packing up. As I was taking down the antenna, the fog had dissipated, and the sun had come out. Isn’t that always the way?
73, Craig WB3GCK
2 thoughts on “WES at Black Rock Sanctuary”
Sounds like a nice outing. Have you considered a long wire and a simple tuner? Might make for easier work on more bands.
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Yep, I use end-fed wires of various lengths from time to time. For quick trips to local parks, the vertical is quick and easy to set up and helps me keep a low (sort of) profile. Our county parks have a lot of visitors these days, due to the pandemic, so I like to keep my antenna “footprint” to a minimum. A few years ago at this same park, a woman and her dog got tangled up in a counterpoise wire I have laying in the grass. The vertical does a respectable job on my favorite bands (40, 30, 20). It also works on 17M-10M, although 10M is a bit of a stretch.
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